TARPON SPRINGS (FOX 13) - A Tarpon Springs area grandmother was forced to fight Monday morning after someone tried stealing her purse in a bank parking lot. At 82 years old, Mary Barrineau knows she can be an enticing target to criminals but this grandmother says she still has plenty of fight left in her tank.
“I've always been a scrapper,” Barrineau said.
That feisty attitude came in handy outside the Bank of America off US-19 in Tarpon Springs. That’s where police say a woman snatched Barrineau's purse right out of her car.
“She grabbed it out backseat she opened the door and just grabbed it and then she ran to her car and I ran after her,” she said.
Barrineau explains she refused to just let the theft happen, even after the suspect Jennifer Kearin threatened to have a gun.
“I started scratching her face and everything and grabbed her blouse and I held on real tight to her blouse and I wasn't going to let her go,” she said.
Barrineau was then able to hold her alleged attacker until police arrived and place Kearin in handcuffs.
“What was going through my mind is that she wasn't going to get away,” said Barrineau.
Turns out, inside Barrineau's purse was more than a $1,000 she needed for her son's medical care.
“That's what he gets for his disability, and no nobody's going to take that,” she said.
Barrineau explains she would defend herself all over again, and has a message for Kearin who is now in the Pinellas county jail facing an armed robbery charge and probation violation.
“I hope you learned a lesson that you can't go around taking this that doesn't belong to you,” said Barrineau.